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Japan FM rejects US, Israeli pressure regarding ties with Iran
Japan's foreign minister said Wednesday negotiations to develop an oil field in Iran are not contingent on assurances from Tehran that it shelve a suspected nuclear weapons program.
The United States, has been accusing Iran of developing a secret nuclear program and has voiced opposition to a Japanese investment, which could be worth at least US$2 billion.
"Japan shares with the international community the nuclear weapons concerns. We are doing our best to encourage Iran to remove them," Yoriko Kawaguchi said at a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan.
"We depend on the outside for 99 percent of our oil. To secure oil has been an important policy goal for Japan, so
we have been conducting discussions," she said. "It is a different issue than the nuclear issue."
It should be recalled that Israel's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom met Tuesday in Tokyo with Kawaguchi.
During the meeting, Shalom raised the issue of Iran's nuclear program, and its "sponsorship of terrorism." He stated that "Japan must condition its signature upon economic projects with Iran on that country's adoption of the 'Additional Protocol,'" adding that "the Iranian enrichment of uranium must be stopped, as it will lead to the completion of their nuclear fuel cycle."
"As a member of the IAEA Board of Governors, and on the basis of its unique historical experience, Japan recognizes the crucial nature of international activity in this realm," Shalom said. http://www.albawaba.com/news/index.php3?sid=257229&lang=e&dir=news